2009 Jul 05 | night hike, Freedom Over Texas

Nice, professionally-cleaned carpets.

Except there is still some drywall pieces stuck in some places.

I don't know why, but I've never trusted Duracell and usually buy Energizer, ever since I was a little kid.

Someone wants to make sure they're getting enough calcium.

This is at the University Eye Institute. A patient must have walked in with powder on his boots and tracked it through the contact lens area.

I swear, every time I go to Wal-Mart, I see this girl at the checkout. I usually do the "20 items or less" aisle and she's there, but this time I used the self-checkout and she was over here.

The main reason I read the Houston Press is for info about upcoming events, like this free screening of Bruno.

I generally don't wear special-occasion ties because to me it's not worth the money or space to keep them around, but I was in the Salvation Army last weekend and saw this, so I figured for under $2 I might as well grab it.

I've never liked drive-through banking. I think it's mainly because I have have to press the little talk button to say "thanks" to the clerk at the end, and by that time s/he might already trying to be helping another customer and not want to have to think about me any more.

A bus that caught on fire on I-10.

Look at that: I want a cheese pizza and breadsticks, and that's exactly what's there. When I was walking up I was terrified someone else might get there before me and grab "my" food.

Tuesday night a group of us did a night hike. We started in the Heights.

I like that; lots of options.

A view of downtown.

Most of the other "hikes" I've done around Houston were on flat ground and sidewalks, so I was really glad this one actually went through some wooded areas, especially ones you have to duck down and around trees.

I wonder if someone lives there.

Another view of downtown from Quitman street looking along I-45.

Walking across Jim Hogg Park.

That's awfully steep to be walking on.

Aw, a poor little crab cooking in the hot Houston sun.

We tossed him back in.

That's not exactly the cleanest little spot.

Partially-finished bridge.

Going through another little trail.

And stopping to pick all the burrs off.

This woman was out walking on her own. I was thinking most women would probably be a little wary of doing that, but then again, the two dogs she has with her looked pretty protective and aren't exactly the little yappy ones you could punt away.

Starting to get a little dark.

It's still not cooling off too much, but at least the sun is gone.

We stopped at the church for a bathroom break. I didn't know most churches had security guards at night, but this isn't the best neighborhood, I guess.

And now it's dark.

Time for the glow necklaces and flashlights to start working.

Taking another break at an expensive apartment complex. A few of us were thinking we should sneak in and take a dip in their pool.

Hey, what's this? It's pretty dark.

Ah, a little stream with a board to cross it. Not a huge drop into a massive river, but it's still nice that nobody fell off.

Giant heads of presidents by Target.

And we ended up where we started, Onion Creek.

They actually have the Free Press Houston here, which is much harder to find that then Houston Press. I always thought the FPH was a lot better, but it didn't seem so great this time.

Friday we went to the Concert Pub. Why bother making a sign when you have dumpsters that work just as well?

I like any bar with pool tables.

There was a live band, but it wasn't really playing our type of music (more 70s than 80s, I think), and it was way too loud to talk, so we ended up on the porch. We ran into another friend and I "rescued" a girl our age from the older men who kept hitting on her. We all ended up having some other interests in common, so perhaps we'll hang out again.

The 610 overpass across 45 was damaged by a semi somehow, and now they've closed off the left lane, which makes getting to school in the morning a bit more of a pain if I take the highway instead of local roads.

Wait, Express is the old version and Replenish is the new formulation, so shouldn't the new one be more expensive? It's only annoying because I prefer the older Express, though.

Dumb speed bumps. It's always nice when nobody parks in the spots next to them so you can just drive around.

It's too hot to lean back against the car seat, so I'm always leaning forward.

Saturday night we went to the Freedom Over Texas festival. I parked about six blocks south of it, figuring there would be less traffic on the local roads afterwards than on the highways. These guys were trying to get people to ride with them rather than walk from their cars.

Lots of toilets; always good.

There were three different stages with new bands every few hours.

Ooh, a nice bonus. The Texas Volleyball Championships, and I got there just in time to watch the women's and then the men's finals.

Most of the women were almost sickly thin, though. You'd think they'd be more muscular to hit harder.

A few points.

Grr, these two sat down upwind of me and started smoking. Jerks.

Kids sliding down the hill on cardboard.

It's not quite a full moon, but it's close.

A Nascar simulation of removing and replacing lug nuts with a timer.

The main stage had Clay Walker as the headliner. There were a ton of people down in the little valley.

They claimed to have the largest land-based fireworks display in the US.

Some of my favorites.

Afterwards we went to the Flying Saucer Draft Emporium downtown.

They have a ton of beers, and if you taste 200 of them, you get your name on a brass plate which they hang on the wall. Also, if you do it multiple times, the inside color of the plate changes. It looks like some people had done it over eight times. That's a pretty expensive hobby.

Dumb long eyelashes.

This cop was slowing all the traffic down. The speed limit was 60, but at least he was going 65 so everybody else did the same.

Sunday afternoon we had another BBQ at Brompton Court. Everyone brought really good food; I made lamb skewers. We were planning on playing volleyball, but they didn't start that 9pm and I had to get up early the next day, so hopefully next time we'll play earlier.

The cutest little baby dog ever.

I don't like most light beers, but this one was really good.